“The crime situation is in fact horrendous when within a 72-hour period, we can get something like 15 murders.”
Admitting this yesterday during an interview with Guardian Media, acting Commissioner of Police Mc Donald Jacob said while some incidents had resulted in double and even quadruple deaths – the shootings would have occurred in about eight separate instances.
“T&T has a high incidence of criminality which is of great concern … to the population and the TTPS,” Jacob said.
Over the weekend and for the Divali holiday, the country saw several murders occurring, including an incident which saw four people, among them a three-year-old boy, being gunned down.
Little Nizam Owen’s murder came almost a week after nine-year-old Jomol Modest was shot dead while playing at a recreation ground in Enterprise, Chaguanas.
Pressed yesterday to respond to public concerns that crime was now long out of control, with many citizens now increasingly fearful of conducting their day-to-day business, Jacob said, “It is at a level which is of great concern to all right-thinking citizens in T&T.”
Jacob, who only returned to the country from an official trip to the UK on Saturday, indicated that the TTPS had implemented a special crime initiative over the long holiday weekend.
“Police officers seized approximately seven high-powered rifles over the weekend and arrested two persons after responding to reports of shootings in relation to murders, and they arrested a few hundred persons on warrant exercises.”
Jacob said closer analysis had to be done in respect of the murders that had been committed on October 21 and 24, which would provide some perspective.
Acknowledging the sense of dissatisfaction, as he said there were increased officers in the field over the weekend, the acting Police Commissioner added, “So when we have a long weekend like this and we put things in place, and we have had so many police officers out there and we have that number…we will in fact be dissatisfied with the outcome.”
Noting that an additional 110 police officers will be joining their peers on the ground as the latest batch of recruits will graduate within the next 48 hours, Jacob assured, “Definitely, there will be an increased police presence and police activities.”
He said the additional officers will go a long way to increasing the TTPS’s visibility in communities across the country.